-heit

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See also: heit

German[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Middle High German -heit, from Old High German -heit, and ultimately from Proto-Germanic *haiduz (personality, character, manner, way).[1] Cognate with Dutch -heid, English -hood, Danish -hed.

Pronunciation[edit]

  • IPA(key): /-haɪ̯t/, [haɪ̯t]
  • The suffix has secondary stress when it follows an unstressed syllable and often also when it precedes one. When it is entirely unstressed, the /h/ may be unpronounced in common speech.
  • (file)

Suffix[edit]

-heit f (genitive -heit, plural -heiten)

  1. Converts an adjective into a noun and usually denotes an abstract quality of the adjectival root. It is often equivalent to the English suffixes -ness, -th, -ty:
    schön (beautiful) + ‎-heit → ‎Schönheit (beauty)
    neu (new) + ‎-heit → ‎Neuheit (novelty)
  2. Converts concrete nouns into abstract nouns:
    Kind (child) + ‎-heit → ‎Kindheit (childhood)
    Christ (Christian) + ‎-heit → ‎Christenheit (Christendom)

Usage notes[edit]

  • While -heit is the normal form of this suffix, it becomes -keit after certain adjectival suffixes. These are -bar, -ig, -isch, -lich, -sam. For example: ‎nützlich (useful) + ‎-heit → ‎Nützlichkeit (utility).
  • Adjectives ending in unstressed -el, -er usually take -keit as well: ‎eitel (vain) + ‎-heit → ‎Eitelkeit (vanity), ‎mager (meagre) + ‎-heit → ‎Magerkeit (meagreness). However, there are a handful of exceptions, e.g. Dunkelheit (darkness), Sicherheit (safety).
  • Sometimes -ig- is added to the adjective and the suffix thus becomes -keit. This is the general rule with adjectives in -haft and -los: ‎fehlerhaft (faulty) + ‎-heit → ‎Fehlerhaftigkeit (faultiness). There is also a fairly large number of other adjectives that follow this pattern: ‎müde (tired) + ‎-heit → ‎Müdigkeit (tiredness). Two forms may exist for some adjectives, occasionally with a semantic distinction, e.g. Neuheit (novelty) versus Neuigkeit (news).

Declension[edit]

Derived terms[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Friedrich Kluge (1989), “-heit”, in Elmar Seebold, editor, Etymologisches Wörterbuch der deutschen Sprache [Etymological Dictionary of the German Language] (in German), 22nd edition, Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, →ISBN.

Further reading[edit]


Norwegian Nynorsk[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Middle Norwegian -heit, a borrow from Middle Low German -heit. Confer with Norwegian Bokmål -het and Swedish -het.

Suffix[edit]

-heit f

  1. (colloquial) creates abstract nouns from adjectives
  2. (rare) creates concrete nouns

Derived terms[edit]

References[edit]